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Intensity-based framework for surrender modeling in life insurance


  • Russo, Vincenzo
  • Giacometti, Rosella
  • Fabozzi, Frank J.


In this paper, we propose an intensity-based framework for surrender modeling. We model the surrender decision under the assumption of stochastic intensity and use, for comparative purposes, the affine models of Vasicek and Cox–Ingersoll–Ross for deriving closed-form solutions of the policyholder’s probability of surrendering the policy. The introduction of a closed-form solution is an innovative aspect of the model we propose. We evaluate the impact of dynamic policyholders’ behavior modeling the dependence between interest rates and surrendering (affine dependence) with the assumption that mortality rates are independent of interest rates and surrendering. Finally, using experience-based decrement tables for both surrendering and mortality, we explain the calibration procedure for deriving our model’s parameters and report numerical results in terms of best estimate of liabilities for life insurance under Solvency II.

Suggested Citation

  • Russo, Vincenzo & Giacometti, Rosella & Fabozzi, Frank J., 2017. "Intensity-based framework for surrender modeling in life insurance," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 189-196.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:insuma:v:72:y:2017:i:c:p:189-196
    DOI: 10.1016/j.insmatheco.2016.11.001

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Vasicek, Oldrich, 1977. "An equilibrium characterization of the term structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 177-188, November.
    2. Bjarke Jensen & Peter Løchte Jørgensen & Anders Grosen, 2001. "A Finite Difference Approach to the Valuation of Path Dependent Life Insurance Liabilities," The Geneva Risk and Insurance Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Association for the Study of Insurance Economics (The Geneva Association), vol. 26(1), pages 57-84, June.
    3. Elisa Luciano & Elena Vigna, 2005. "Non mean reverting affine processes for stochastic mortality," ICER Working Papers - Applied Mathematics Series 4-2005, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
    4. Russo, Vincenzo & Giacometti, Rosella & Ortobelli, Sergio & Rachev, Svetlozar & Fabozzi, Frank J., 2011. "Calibrating affine stochastic mortality models using term assurance premiums," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 53-60, July.
    5. Grosen, Anders & Lochte Jorgensen, Peter, 2000. "Fair valuation of life insurance liabilities: The impact of interest rate guarantees, surrender options, and bonus policies," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 37-57, February.
    6. Vasicek, Oldrich Alfonso, 1977. "Abstract: An Equilibrium Characterization of the Term Structure," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(04), pages 627-627, November.
    7. Bacinello, Anna Rita, 2005. "Endogenous model of surrender conditions in equity-linked life insurance," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 270-296, October.
    8. Weiyu Kuo & Chenghsien Tsai & Wei‐Kuang Chen, 2003. "An Empirical Study on the Lapse Rate: The Cointegration Approach," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 70(3), pages 489-508, September.
    9. Tanskanen, Antti Juho & Lukkarinen, Jani, 2003. "Fair valuation of path-dependent participating life insurance contracts," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 595-609, December.
    10. Anna Rita Bacinello, 2003. "Fair Valuation of a Guaranteed Life Insurance Participating Contract Embedding a Surrender Option," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 70(3), pages 461-487, September.
    11. Costabile, Massimo & Massabó, Ivar & Russo, Emilio, 2008. "A binomial model for valuing equity-linked policies embedding surrender options," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 873-886, June.
    12. John C. Cox & Jonathan E. Ingersoll Jr. & Stephen A. Ross, 2005. "A Theory Of The Term Structure Of Interest Rates," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Theory Of Valuation, chapter 5, pages 129-164 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    13. Andrea Consiglio & Domenico De Giovanni, 2010. "Pricing the Option to Surrender in Incomplete Markets," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 77(4), pages 935-957, December.
    14. Darrell Duffie & Jun Pan & Kenneth Singleton, 2000. "Transform Analysis and Asset Pricing for Affine Jump-Diffusions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(6), pages 1343-1376, November.
    15. Anna Rita Bacinello, 2005. "Modelling the Surrender Conditions in Equity-Linked Life Insurance," CeRP Working Papers 39, Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy).
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    Cited by:

    1. Berdin, Elia & Gründl, Helmut & Kubitza, Christian, 2017. "Rising interest rates, lapse risk, and the stability of life insurers," ICIR Working Paper Series 29/17, Goethe University Frankfurt, International Center for Insurance Regulation (ICIR).

    More about this item


    Life insurance; Surrender option; Intensity-based models; Vasicek model; Cox–Ingersoll–Ross (CIR) model; Best estimate of liabilities (BEL);

    JEL classification:

    • C02 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - General - - - Mathematical Economics
    • C60 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - General
    • G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill


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